At this very moment I am likely in the car driving down to the lovely town of San Luis Obispo for the Central Coast Writers Conference. I might even be eating an In 'N Out Burger this very second. YOU DON'T KNOW. But as a result of my traveling, there will be no Page Critique Friday this week.
Also, I prepared this post to run in advance, so this news is all current as of 8pm Thursday night. Hopefully the industry is still there in the morning.
It is truly the end of the era as one of the great publishing blogs is closing shop. Moonrat gave us four great years at Editorial Ass but is moving on to other projects. Her blog will be missed!
Right now those purchasing e-readers have to choose between black and white e-Ink (which looks like ink on paper) and color LED (which is tough to read in the sun). Well, pretty soon color will be coming to e-Ink. The color in the current prototypes are a little drowned out, but the technology is evolving.
In publishing news, after the departure of publisher Jonathan Karp to Simon & Schuster, the imprint Twelve has hired Susan Lehman as their new publisher. And while it hasn't been officially confirmed as of press time (ha! press time. As in the time I press the publish button time), rumor has it that none other than Jonathan Franzen's FREEDOM will be the next pick in Oprah's book club.
Is the present tense taking over literature? That is a concern of Philip Pullman, who took a look at the Booker shortlist, noticed that three are in present, and called the present tense a "silly affectation" which "does nothing but annoy." Hate to hear what he'd think of second person future. "It will be a dark and stormy night. You will be very cold and wet." UPDATE: this summary was originally a little garbled and I misspelled Pullman's name. Whoops! Sorry! "You will regret rushing through putting together This Week in Publishing." UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Pullman clarified his remarks here.
Contrary to the myth of the loner creative genius, there's a terrific article in Slate that examines the incredible potency of creative partnerships, including not only the classic McCartney/Lennon combo, but some bookish examples as well, such as the influence of legendary editor Maxwell Perkins. Behind some of the most creative people in the world were hidden partners that influenced, challenged, and elevated their art.
Ever wondered what the differences are between middle grade and young adult literature? Well, it goes farther than just the age of the protagonists. Hannah Moskowitz has a really awesome post about some of the thematic differences and necessities of the different genres. Really worth a full read because a summary won't do it justice.
In case you need any evidence about how the world is changing and bringing readers closer together, just check out this incredible post - a THE SECRET YEAR blog tour in Brazil! Now, bear in mind that this book hasn't been released in Portuguese. These are readers who are reading the book in English and discussing. The Internet continues to blow my mind.
Lastly, extremely sad news this week as David Thompson, beloved co-owner of Houston's indie store Murder By the Book, died suddenly at age 38.
This week in the Forums: the new Arcade Fire album, favorite activities to avoid writing, are there too many emotionally weak female characters in YA?, your favorite debut novel, and plot vs. character: which comes first?
Comment! of! the! Week! goes back to last Friday's post. In response to the book help desk video, Doug Pardee thinks we should resist that newfangled book thing.
Just say "no" to the codex. It's Big Religion attempting to save money by writing on both sides of the papyrus. A codex will never hold up like a scroll will.
And don't get me started on parchment.
And finally, science fiction blog io9 had a really awesome post on the cultural history of Halley's Comet, including its famed connection to Mark Twain. I have to say, this post really brought me back. When I saw Halley's comet when I was six and my parents told me the next time I would see it would be when I was eighty-one, for some reason it made me suddenly realize my mortality and I was completely horrified. Oh, little Nathan. So serious.
Have a great weekend!